Let’s talk about the good that Hillary Clinton has done in the world, from her years as a Yale grad passing up tony law firms to do groundbreaking work for the Children’s Defense Fund through her successful tenure as Secretary of State.
Hillary’s a progressive who gets results, and she demonstrated this most recently by dispatching two senior aides to Flint, Michigan to offer assistance with their lead-poisoned water crisis when their own governor would not act. Two hours after Hillary applied pressure, he acted. Hillary earned the endorsement of Flint’s mayor for being “the only candidate” to get the city the help they needed.
“She has actually been the only, the only candidate — Democrat or Republican — to reach out and talk about: ‘What can I do?'” Weaver said. “‘What kind of help do you need?'”
In USA Today, Ann Lewis explained that fighting inequality has been a central theme in Hillary’s entire career:
“As a young lawyer, she went door to door in New Bedford, Mass., interviewing kids who weren’t in school because they were disabled. Her work helped lead to the passage of a national law guaranteeing the right of all children to be educated in public schools. In Arkansas, even before she and Bill got married, Hillary started the legal aid clinic and prisons project at the University of Arkansas.
Later, as the first lady of Arkansas, she worked to create a development bank and a microloan program that made loans available to state’s poorest citizens. She got the idea from the renowned Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, and proved it could work just as well for rural Arkansans. She did the same with an Israeli early childhood education program for low-income families – she imported it to America, and today it’s serving kids in 22 states.”
Hillary is still revered in Arkansas for her instrumental role in reforming and improving their education system when she was First Lady of the state. During her husband’s administration, she worked to successfully lower the rates of teen pregnancy. She initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families act, helped create SCHIP with Senators Kennedy and Hatch, helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice and played a key role in bringing the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of United States policy.
Her four-decade resume is filled with work of this kind. A happy warrior, she has always put her head down, forged ahead and mastered her brief.
As a New York senator, Hillary won over those who had initially seen her as a carpetbagger. After 9/11, and after the cameras stopped rolling, Hillary learned that first responders were getting sick and secured funding for the care they needed. Twenty-five thousand firemen later came out to endorse her.
Hillary fought for and won extended benefits for military families and health benefits for our troops in the National Guard and Reserves. She fought off large cuts to Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Her ability to reach across the aisle, collaborating on health insurance legislation with the man who had been her husband’s nemesis years before, was impressive. Hillary also co-sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage on five different occasions, was prescient in predicting and cautioning against the housing collapse and offered economic prescriptions praised by Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman.
In 2007, Hillary championed the Financial Product Safety Commission, something Wall Street hated, and put it at the heart of her “Fair Credit for Families Agenda.” The idea came from a then little-known Professor Elizabeth Warren. In other words, Hillary has a long history of working on behalf of Main Street — fighting for women’s rights, for children, for education and to strengthen families.
As Secretary of State, Hillary restored the American brand and diplomatic relations badly damaged during the Bush Administration and put diplomacy back in the hands of the State Department rather than the military. She also restored a demoralized organization made up of some 70,000 people, energizing and modernizing the way the State Department engaged. Hillary was a powerful ally in securing lucrative business contracts for American companies overseas and in May 2009, introduced a plan granting benefits to same sex partners in the Foreign Service.
General Wesley Clark once said, “If you want to know what someone is going to do, take a look at what they’ve done.” There is no “sidewalk act” that can sustain itself over a lifetime only to be a parlor trick devised for the cameras. For those who accuse Hillary Clinton of reciting talking points designed to please the current zeitgeist, an examination of her resume proves beyond a doubt that when she says she will “work her heart out” for the American people – all of them – she isn’t kidding.